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    December 29, 2012
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to students to find ways to make it work. greta's back in school, this time getting a master's in nursing. >> i am living at home, i am constantly looking for new scholarships, little scholarships here and there. and trying to make the connections i can to hopefully get a grant within the next two years. >> the college degree is an investment, and it has to be analyzed and scrutinized like an investment when you're borrowing money. student loans are almost impossible to get rid of during bankruptcy. to get rid of them in bankruptcy you have to prove in court that paying them off would cause undue hardship. judges rarely, rarely buy it. one more reason to keep your total borrowing down from the start. let's keep the conversation gog, find us on facebook and twitter. our handle is cnnbottomline.
we continue right now. from cnn world headquarters, this is "cnn saturday morning." still waiting. three days to go and no noon avert the fiscal cliff. what will lawmaker do to save you from more taxes and fewer benefits? the littlest pawns in a political fight. we'll talk to one woman whose hopes for adopting a russian son may have just been shattered. and they're back. kathy griffin and anderson cooper ringing in new year's eve. but why was kathy's make itted on "a.c.'s" -- naked on "a.c.'s" couch? we'll explain. good morning, it's 10:00 on the east coast, 7:00 on the west coast. i'm alison kosik. randi kaye is off today. we're just three days away from possibly crossing over the fiscal cliff. for the first time in weeks, there's some hope coming from washington. senate leaders are negotiating a
deal they hope can go to a vote, go to a vote soon. cnn radio capitol hill correspondent lisa desjardins is in washington. you were on thrill yesterday for the political action between president obama, between congressional leaders. they sound more optimistic, at least president obama does. do you think we're any closer to a deal at this point? >> i think there's no doubt that we are closer to a deal, but how much closer we'll know probably in the next 24 hours. it's interesting because in the last 20 hours, the silence that had pervaded capitol hill was completely changed after the president and the four congressional leaders he met with all announced that they're shifting negotiation tactics now to a group of two. two senators, mitch mcconnell and harry reid, the two party leaders in the senate, are going to be trying to find a way to get a deal today. we know their staff is talking. we don't expect actually any necessary meetings between those two leaders right away today.
we think that their chiefs of staff are going to be on the phone, via e-mail. this reported from our producer, ted barrett. perhaps tonight they'll see if the leaders can sit down and get together something to present to their various caucuses. now as i said, it was silent until yesterday. then we heard many people speaking. again, we heard from president obama this morning talking about how important it is to try and get a deal done this week. >> you meet your deadlines, your responsibilities every single day. the folks you sent here to serve should do the same. we cannot let washington politics get in the way of america's progress. we've got to do what it takes to protect the middle class, grow this economy, and move our country forward. >> that was the president's weekly address. that was the very end of that address. and you know, everyone talks about these deadlines. but congress does have a way of pushing those back. so let's talk about that quickly. december 31 at midnight is technically the fiscal cliff deadline. after that is when taxes would
go up for most americans. but because january 1 is a federal holiday, that buys congress one day and also january 2 they could use, as well, buying time all the way till january 3 when the new congress comes in. there's deadlines and then there's deadlines. >> although you wind up seeing the market reaction after new year's day. waiting until january 2 -- >> that's right. >> knowing that they are maybe getting closer to something, you know, what may not make it into this deal? i'm assuming that there's a lot that -- a lot of negotiations going on as far as compromise. >> right. the focus of this deal is to try and avoid those tax hikes for most americans. that's what's mainly on the table as well as extending unemployment benefits. but you're right, so many things probably will not make this deal. that includes those budget cuts for most government agencies, the sequester. that may happen at least in the short term. it doesn't seem to be on the table now. also, the medicare doc fix. we don't know for sure if that's going to be in this deal or not.
a lot of other pieces still on the table and in limbo for now. >> okay. lisa desjardins, we'll be watching with you, thanks. as you may have guessed, uncertainty over the fiscal cliff is having a ripple effect from washington to wall street. u.s. stocks ended the session in the red on friday for the fifth straight day. a triple-digit loss for the dow, that tumbled 158 points. the nasdaq lost almost 26 points while the s&p 500 shed almost 16 points. in washington, each side of the aisle is pleading its case directly it the taxpayer. both the president and the republicans talking about the fiscal cliff in their weekly addresses. the president said yesterday he was modestly optimistic about a deal, but here he seems to hint at his own plan b if the senate can't reach a deal. >> if an agreement isn't reached on time, then i'll urge the senate to hold an up or down vote on a basic package that protects the middle class from an income tax hike, extends vital unemployment insurance for americans looking for a job, and
lays the groundwork for future progress on more economic growth and deficit reduction. i believe such a proposal could pass both houses with bipartisan majorities as long as these leaders allow it to come to a vote. >> for the republican side, senator roy blunt of missouri who struck a more partisan tone is shifting blame to democrats. >> the republican-controlled house has taken the step in the right direction. the house has passed bills to protect all americans from burdensome tax increases. in addition, they passed legislation to replace damaging across the board spending cuts with responsible targeted ones. and to bring our nation's record debt under control. but instead of working across the aisle and considering the house-passed plan to protect taxpayers, senate democrats have spent months drawing partisan lines in the sand. >> and all of this gridlock in washington has actually helped the current congress make history. not sure if it's the history
they want to make because it would be the most unproductive year ever. a review by the "huffington post," it shows that 219 bills have been passed this session compared to 383 bills passed by the previous congress and 460 by the group before that. now to avoid the distinction, congress needs to submit about 100 bills to president obama in the next few days. that lack of productivity isn't hurting paychecks on capitol hill. even as tax hikes and an end to unemployment benefits for two million people could be on the way because of the fiscal cliff, congress, though, hey, about to get a raise. part of an executive order that president obama issued which ends a pay freeze for federal workers. their salaries, yeah, they'll if up by half a percent after march 27. that's an extra $900 before taxes. currently members of congress make $174,000 a year except for leaders who make a little more. the last time there was a pay
raise was 2009. there is one thing the senate has agreed on, getting aid to victims of superstorm sandy. by a 61-33 vote the chamber passed a measure offering $60 billion in help. it heads to the house which must approve the bill by thursday or else the process to consider the money has to start all over again. at least 113 people were killed when superstorm sandy hit in late october. the governors of new york and new jersey, the hardest hit states, have estimated damages at more than $78 billion. and turning to weather. even though winter is just over a week old, millions of americans probably can't wait for spring to arrive. me, as well, yes. scenes like this in maine are playing out all across the country as snow is now on the ground in almost 65% of the lower 48 states. at least everybody's enjoying it together. look at this video from arkansas where -- in little rock, they posted a record-breaking nine inches on christmas day. and for some of you, yay, not
over yet. let's bring in meteorologist bonnie schneider for a look at what is on top for today. is there an end in sight for -- >> no. no. we've got more snow, more wind and rain facing a good portion of the u.s. for today. now it is early in the winter season, but as we mentioned, more than half of the country, as far south as louisiana, have some white on the ground. so we're going to see more snow where that came from. i want to take you live to washington, d.c., where the rain is changing to snow. isn't that a song, rain changes to snow? the white house, looking pretty cold out there. i'll tell you what, temperatures started off around 41 this morning. they're falling into the 30s. it's going to get colder and a little more nasty as the day progresses. part of kind of a newer storm system than the one we were talking about on christmas. you see snow stretching across pennsylvania. then all rain across the jersey shore. that's really the last thing they need, more bad weather even after sandy continues to impact the region. what we're seeing now is heavy snowfall and winter storm
warnings that will go into effect starting at noon for the boston metropolitan area. it's been fascinating to follow the computer models. depending on how close or far low pressure gets to the coastline, massachusetts, including the city of boston, could see substantial snow throughout today and tonight. let's break it down. you see the low sliding off the coast. getting energy if the west. it becomes intense and stays to the south of new england. now with that flow, we're getting the winds coming from the north, picking up the moisture from the atlantic. that's why eastern massachusetts, if you can see the brighter white here, indicates a little bit more intense snowfall. it is still something we're monitoring because the as the low slides east or west, that would impacts how much rain versus how much snow you get in new england. whether you're in new england or not, you'll face some travel troubles today. we have airport delays forecast for the northeast, the mid-atlantic, the midwest. and even down here in the south, we had delays in charlotte this morning. and on the west coast, we could see delays, low clouds and rain even in los angeles. busy travel weekend. lots of weather coast to coast
that will impact millions of people. >> no escaping it, huh? >> no. >> thanks. tax hikes, spending cuts, and the u.s. economy caught right in the middle. we can only, of course, be talking about the fiscal cliff. our political panel is going to weigh in on the chances for a deal. try running four.ning a restaurant is hard,
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the pressure is on as harry reid and mitch mcconnell race against the clock to find a fix to the fiscal cliff. joining me are cnn contributor and democratic strategist maria cardona and republican strategist ron bonjin. good morning to you.
>> good morning. >> good morning. >> ron, i'll start with you. reid and mcconnell, they really are the focus in the senate. in the house, it's speaker john boehner. i've got to ask you, is his job on the line if republicans balk at any deal that's reached? >> no, not at all. speaker boehner is extremely strong. his conferences support him and knows that he's been in a tough position trying to negotiate the fiscal deal with the president. he's been doing this for weeks, month, working on this deal. and you know, they gave it a shot. they tried their best. the house, you know, house republicans wouldn't go for it. and said, you know, it's up to the senate. and once -- if the senate passes something, the house now will consider it. so i -- i do think that the speaker is in a very strong position. and besides, this is a very difficult job. i don't see many republicans standing up and wanting to take speaker boehner on. not many other people could do the job like speaker boehner is. >> i agree. i see you saying that. think about it, he didn't look
good when plan b couldn't go to a vote. how can he be strong in this position? >> i think house republican see the position he's in. they're divorcing the fact -- divorcing the deal versus his leadership. he has presented an effective leadership style. he's communicated with his house republican conference in a very solid way. you know, they stand behind him. they're not supportive of what he brought forward. you know, and i think that the speaker was positioning this deal to try to prevent tax increases for going up for people try -- trying to prevent people over a million dollars for taxes to go up, and unfortunately that just didn't happen. >> okay. maria, president obama making his first sunday san mateo appearance -- sunday show appearance tomorrow on "meet the press." a recent poll shows that more american will hold congressional republicans responsible for going over the fiscal cliff instead of the president. 48%-37% there. has making his case to the public either on recent trips or with his upcoming appearance, has that really given president obama the leverage in this debate?
>> i certainly think it has helped because what this president has been good at i think throughout his tenure through the white house and definitely through the campaign is making the issues that he is fighting for and that he has been talking about relevant to everyday americans. and he has been asking for those same americans to make their voices heard with their congressional leaders. and as we all know, there is no one more important to congressional leaders than their own constituents back home. and so when the president asked constituents to let congressional leaders know what it's going to mean to them if their taxes rise on january 1, then leaders are going to hear from their constituents back home. i think that's a very powerful piece of pressure that washington actually does respond it. so i think he has been very adepartment at that. i think it is -- adept at that. i think it is something that helped him through his first term and will help through his second term, as well. >> critics say the president should talk to more people on capitol hill. what deuce o you say?
>> i agree. i think the president should be more open to talking personally to members of congress and, you know, we'll see if he'll do that in his second term. i also think what this president has going for him and what worked for him during the campaign is that he had -- the american people, the majority of american people think that this president does understand what they're going through, does understand, you know, their everyday economic problems. and he's been able to really translate what the policies of washington mean for them. and so he has been able to use the voices of the american people to make the case for him, for what is actually best for america moving forward. now i do think it would be more powerful if he would use that in conjunction with a little bit more personal touch. he does have that personal touch. now, you know, he has decided that he chooses to spend more time with his family.
and as a mother, i can't say that that's not a good reason. but we'll see moving forward if he decides to do that more from a personal standpoint. >> ron, let me throw this question at you. both sides agree that any deal will mean that no one gets everything they want. for republicans, what are the sticking points that would keep members of congress from saying yes to an agreement? why do they sort of draw the line? >> i not the whole issue now, it's going to be a small deal, it's on tax rates. it's on the threshold now. they're talking, you know, the number that the president's thrown out is around $400,000. i think, you know, a couple of weeks ago, republicans would have laughed at that. now i think they're looking at that much more serious ly becaue of the fallback bill the president wants to put on the table of $250,000. so i do think that, you know, the tax rates are the key to this deal because we're not dealing with sequestration, we're not dealing defense cuts, we're not dealing with raising the debt ceiling until next year. i really think that's probably the sticking point at this time. >> maria, are democrats going to
do enough for spending cuts, or are they going kind of whittle through that? >> we'll see what the senate is able to come up with. there doesn't seem to be enough time, though, for the kind of spending cuts that we really need to focus on for the long term to be negotiated in the next 72 hours because as you noted those are very difficult positions for democrats. it doesn't mean that democrats don't think that there should be spending cuts. the president is the first one to say that spending cuts are something that he has put on the table and that we need to negotiate and whatever long-term deal gets done. but right now, washington has really pushed us to the brink. and i think what everybody agrees on, i think ron would agree with me, is that no one wants to get blamed for taxes going up on 98% of the american people. and so that i think is what we're going to be seeing in whatever deal gets done. those will be the things that will be underscored. and then i think there will be a commitment for longer term spending cuts as well as tax reform. >> maria, ron, thank you very
much. good conversation there. >> thank you. >> thank you. can the government legally eavesdrop on your private conversations? a controversial measure is on its way to president obama's desk. supporters say it will stop terrorists right in their tracks. opponents say it could lead to abuse. 00 pounds? 315 horsepower. what's that in reindeer-power? [ laughs ] [ pencil scratches ] [ male announcer ] chevy's giving more. now through january 2nd, no monthly payments until spring for qualified buyers. get the silverado for 0% apr financing for 60 months plus $1,000 holiday bonus cash. plus trade up for an additional $1,000 trade-in allowance. share brotherly love. share one up's.
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there are dramatic image coming to us from the moscow airport where a russian plane has crashed. russia's interior ministry said the plane overshot the runway. eight people are on board, four are reported killed. four others are seriously injured. the redwing flight broke into pieces. smoke is billowing from the aircraft. the plane was heading from the czech republic.
people across india are mourning the death of a young woman they're calling lightning. she was savagely beaten and gang raped on a bus in new delhi earlier this month in a case which has galvanized the country. protesters have been taking part in candlelight vigils. they want more protection for women in india which has seen a surge in rape attacks. six suspects are in custody in the 23-year-old's death. they face murder as well as rape charges. russia's top diplomat and international envoy to syria are warning that syria's civil war is threatening the fragile stability of the mideast. u.n. arab league envoy rahimi met with russian foreign minister lavrov in moscow today. they're trying to bring the regime and rebels to the bargaining table. >> you know, the only alternative is really help for political process. then we have got all of us to
work ceaselessly for particular causes. it is difficult. it is very complicated. but there is no other choice. >> but despite the international appeal for a peaceful political transition, fighting continues to rage in syria. syrian opposition activists say at least 88 people have been killed just today. the senate has approved a bill extending secret eavesdropping overseas. the measure is headed to president obama who's expected to sign it. cnn's brian todd takes a closer look at the controversial foreign surveillance act. >> reporter: he ordered it just after 9/11, and it became one of the most controversial tactics used by former president george w. bush and his security team to fight the war on terror. the secret wiretapping without warrants of communications between u.s. residents and people overseas, suspected of being terrorists. it drew fire because sometimes the communications of innocent americans got caught up.
in 2008, the practice was authorized by congress but with limitations. a warrant is now required to target an american, including americans who are abroad. but it's still a hugely controversial program. and the senate's just approved a five-year extension of it. it will be signed by president obama. >> something with an enormous potential for abuse, certainly given the rather ugly history of the use of the intelligence surveillance for illegitimate political purposes under presidents of both parties under many decades. >> reporter: julian sanchez and other civil libertarians believe there are way too many innocent people being monitored. members of congress who oppose the extension say the classified program is also too secretive and they pushed for more disclosure. >> i think we ought to know whether for purposes of the amendments act generally how many americans are being swept up under the legislation. >> reporter: but there won't be more disclosure because that got voted down. dianne feinstein, the democrat
who chairs the senate intelligence committee, warned that shedding more light on who's being surveiled would destroy the wiretapping program which she says has worked well. >> four years, 100 arrest it prevent something from happening in -- arrests to prevent something from happening in the united states, some of which comes from this program. so i think it's a vital program. >> reporter: conservative analyst cliff may says a wide dragnet is worth the cost. >> let's suppose you were a pakistani immigrant here. you don't have your green card yet. you call your uncle in lahor, yes, you could get caught up. maybe your uncle is just a tailor. if he's a member of the taliban, maybe it's true that somebody think we need to ask questions of this person. >> reporter: if you're talking to the uncle in lahor and you're innocent, you're still caught up -- >> you're not caught up in the sense that you're going to jail. you're not caught up in the sense that anything bad is going to happen to you.
>> that was brian todd reporting. they're the littlest pawns in a political fight. my conversation with one woman whose hopes for adopting a russian son may have just been shattered because of a new law. [music: artist: willy moon song: "yeah yeah" label: universal] ♪ everybody well don't you know it's me now? ♪ ♪ yeah who's it, who's it huh? ♪ ♪ willy's back with a brand new beat now, ♪
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welcome back. i'm alison kosik. randi kaye is off today. here are five stories we're keeping an eye on this morning -- the top story this morning, that looming fiscal cliff. three days left for congress and the president to reach a deal and avoid billions in tax increases and spending cuts. earlier i spoke with former fdic chairman sheilah bear. she gave her predictions on what a deal might look like. >> i do think actually they're going to get a deal. but i think it will be more along the lines of kicking the can down the road. i don't think from this point that we'll get meaningful deficit reduction. certainly not meaningful tax reform. i do think that there will be perhaps a permanent extension of
the lower tax rates for those making at least under $500,000. the payroll tax cut on the other hand will go away, i think. it's highly likely. that is going to impact a lot of workers. >> bair also took on the credit sthamp increasing the -- criticism that increasing the tax on capital gains. >> this is an aberration in the tax code. it is grossly unfair. you look at if they raise, say they raise tax rates, the top tax rate to 39.6% for those making more than $500,000, that's going to mean that small businesses, a lot of small businesses are going to be paying that nearly 40% marginal tax rate where you have billionaire private equity funds, you know, paying 15, 20, or 2 4 depending where they put it. it's not an issue of penalizing investment income. it's an issue of penalizing labor and those who make the income through wages. and they're both legitimate and both should be taxed at the same rate. >> and as people across the u.s.
try to dig out from a recent snowstorm, forecasters are calling for yet another round this weekend. at additional two to four inches of snow is forecast from southern illinois to new jersey. the storm has brought heavy rains, tornadoes, and high winds to several areas of the country and is being blamed for ten deaths. an update on the investigation into the killing of two firefighters who were ambushed as they battled the fire in upstate new york on christmas eve. police have arrested the gunman's neighbor, dawn nguyen. the 24-year-old woman bought a semiautomatic rifle and shotgun for suspect william spengler who later killed himself. nguyen faces federal charges that she lied to authorities. spending lspending lar couldn't buy the firearms legally because he was a convicted felon. rick schneider has signed a new abortion law for his state. it prohibits any abortion that performs more than 120 abortions
a year to be an outstanding facility. he says the law will help ensure a pregnant woman is not being "coerced" into a decision. critics argue it will force clinics to shut down and restrict access for women. there are newlyweds waking up in maine. the state's same-sex marriage law went into effect at midnight. steven bridges and michael snell were the first in line to tie the knot. they say they've been waiting years for this moment. voters in maine, maryland, and washington state approved same-sex marriage in november's elections. gay marriage is already legal in d.c. and six other states. regrettable, politically motivated, saddening. these are all statements made by u.s. officials about russia's decision to ban americans from adopting russian children. russian president putin signed the ban into law friday. lawmakers there cite a history of abuse of russian children adopted by american families. however, many believe it was in retaliation against a law that president obama signed that
imposes u.s. travel and financial restrictions on human rights abusers in russia. this morning, i spoke with carrie kayhill and asked if the chances of adopteding a 13-year-old boy from daniel in an orphanage in siberia, if she thinks her chances are over. >> i'm ever hopeful that things are going to change. i'm hopeful that better communication between both countries might cause putin to rethink the thing that he just signed. >> how far along were you in this process to adopt him before the ban went into effect? >> well, i'd already met daniel. i had lived over there for a few months in 2010 and spent a great deal of time with him. i had completed my dossier. i had submitted my dossier. it was refused by the region because the region actually had created a law banning u.s. adoptions before the country did. and that was just recently changed. but unfortunately, not in enough time for me to kind of squeeze in before putin signed this law.
>> i want to hear more about daniel. i know he's 13. he has fetal alcohol syndrome. as i understand it, one of the last times that you were with him, he said he didn't wanted to live if he didn't get adopted s. that the case? >> that is, but that's very common. when children age out of the orphanage at 16, there are mandate prospects for them. a number of them commit suicide. daniel had just found another child from the orphanage had hanged himself and daniel found him. it's common. when i spoke to him when i was there in june, 2011, and talked about the possibility of adoption and what would happen if it didn't work through, he would say, he said, "i don't want to be here if i don't have a home." >> tell me what's happening now. today, tomorrow, in the coming days before this -- this ban goes into effect. are you in contact with anybody? >> i have been trying to reach out to the orphanage itself. i have not been successful in reaching them. i am, of course, in touch with
many of my friends in the adoption community. and we're all kind of coming together, pooling our resources, and finding ways to help. of course, the most important thing is to get the word out that there are still ways to care for these children even when the ban goes into effect. we can still send supplies, medical supplies, clothing, financial support, et cetera. there are 740,000 children in state care in russia. >> amazing, i know. the u.s. state department has called this move politically motivated, adding that american families have adopted over 60,000 russian children over the past 20 years. and the vast majority of these children are not thriving thanks to their parents' loving support. but russian officials krooiltci history of abuse by american parents. you've adopted a daughter from the same orphanage where daniel is. >> yes. >> you've been through this system before. did you get -- did you get a feeling that officials were concerned about americans adopting russian children? >> officials, yes. on the ground, the average citizen, no.
the russian people in general are -- all the ones i met are just wonderful, love the children, do everything they can to support them. it's just the roersz arenesourc there. unfortunately, what's happened is just as there's a breakdown in communication between russia and america, there needs to be more work on adoption dip meat. there needs to be better -- diplomacy. there need to be better communication. i believe that putin is doing this in retaliation of might have been better written so that this wouldn't have happened. i feel like communication breakdown is the issue. it just -- there needs to be better communication on both sides so this will not happen. >> when was the last time you spoke with daniel? >> the last time i spoke to him was about two months ago. i have sent several letters, and i have received communication through some of the -- there are a few girls that aged out of the orphanage at 16 that i support financially. and i'm able to reach them on russian facebook every once this
a while. they did k commu-- they can come with daniel and send his communication to me. i have heard from him as recent as two weeks ago, but i haven't spoken direction directly in two months. >> and russia's action could affect hundreds of families looking to adopt kids from russia. close to 1,000 russian children were adopted by u.s. families last year alone. so you say you think you know "modern family" really well? we'll give you a real insider's tour with the producer himself. you'll look at a cnn exclusive. [ cellphone chirping ]
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good morning, washington. look how pretty it is there. it is pretty. i mean, the snow falling does look kind of magical, doesn't it? the nation's eyes are watching you as lawmakers put together plans to avoid falling off the fiscal cliff. and those decisions are going to be made in this weather. 40 degrees, rain and snow there today. though right now it looks pretty. hopefully it's putting them, lawmakers, in a good mood. "modern family," ever see
it? the sitcom is a huge hit on abc packed with 21st century family dynamics that are becoming the new normal for, well, the modern family. cnn's nadia bilchik sat down with danny zucker, the show's executive producer. >> it's hard to know what makes it such a phenomenon but i think it's that it's relatable to a wide swath of the audience from my children's -- their friends watch the show, and their parents watch the show. and someone described it as -- a friend described it as kind of like a camp fire. there hadn't been anything like that on the air for a while that everybody sort of watched together. and i -- i think it was an antidote to snarky television for a while. >> how do you find ininspiration for some of the jokes? >> the stories come right from my family. something will happen in my family, and my kids will watch me go for my phone to write notes and be like, don't put that in the show. and all of the writers on the
show have this with our family because we purge -- i mean, we have just told -- we have dug from the depths of our family all of our -- skeletons in our closet. you know, we need stories, and that comes first. we did an episode -- this happened to me. the emts in my town of manhattan beach are famously attractive. i was doubled identiover in thee of the night with gallstones. my wife called 911 because we didn't know what it was. she disappeared for a while. the doorbell rang, and i'm in my underwear. she comes out of the closet. and she's completely dolled herself up for the firemen. and -- we -- i told that story, and we wound up doing that in an episode. so -- >> now, eric stonestreet plays the partner to mitch. so he's gay. yet in real life he isn't. are people always surprised by that? >> i think they are. eric is -- eric is -- eric is definitely the person on the show most playing a character, i think. they all are, but his
transformation is -- we watch him get cam hair we call. his hair become that cam hair. then you'll see him afterwards, and -- and you know, he looks like -- a good ol' boy, basically what he is. yeah. >> sophia vergara, no one had heard of her before "modern family." >> she was big in latin america. people early on -- when we would go to restaurant or something or anywhere, some of the -- we'd be in any place where there were latino people, they would come up like they had known her. yeah, this was definitely a breakout role. >> "modern family" resonates beyond entertainment. in fact, it's been credited with changing people's perception. for example, of gay marriage. does that put pressure on you as a writer? is that something you think about a lot? >> we do take pride after the fact in it changing -- changing opinions. our more conservative relatives and family members have come up to us and said, you know, i never really looked at gay people in that way. >> you have, i think you said,
over 150,000 twitter followers. you have is on to see explain your love of twitter -- you have to explain your love of twitter. >> i love writing jokes. i saw this form, just this perfect forum as a perfect place to practice writing jokes. i came up as a joke writer. and originally, if you wanted to get your jokes heard, you'd have to go to this gatekeeper. like the head writer of letterman or leno. now, a joke occurs to you, and you put it out there and get immediate feedback. i know lots of wrouyoung comedy writers who got hired just off of twitter feeds. >> it's been a pleasure having you on @cnn. >> my pleasure. thank you very much. imagine trying to get a restraining order, but imagine trying to get one against your parent. we'll tell you about a woman who did just that. we also have the first report of a lawsuit filed as a result of the newtown school shooting.
reuters is reporting a $100 million lawsuit that's been filed against the state of connecticut on behalf of a 6-year-old survivor of the newtown school shooting. according to the claim, the unidentified female has sustained emotional and
psychological trauma and injury. the lawsuit also accuses the state of failing to take the appropriate steps to protect children from foreseeable harm. this morning, we've learned the name of the man pushed to his death to from a subway platform in new york on thursday. witnesses say 46-year-old sunando psen was pushed by a woman police describe as heavyset in her 20s. she was caught on camera fleeing the scene. it's the second subway killing in new york just this month. in ohio, a college honors student has been granted a restraining order against her parents of all people. a judge has ordered the parents of aubrey ireland to stay at least 500 feet away from their daughter until september of next year. 21-year-old ireland says her parents would track her cell phone and computer use and drive 600 miles to visit her at school unannounced. in an abc interview, ireland describes some of their behavior. >> my mom has always been very overly involved. and i would have to get on skype
all the time and show them that i was in my dorm room or like there were nights where i had to leave my skype on all night. and my mom would watch me basically sleep. >> aubrey also said she felt like her parents controlled her life. her parents say that aubrey is lying and has mental issues. an animal rights group has paid out a $9 million settlement to owners of the ringling brothers barnum and bailey circus. the american society for the prevention of cruelty to animals was just one of several animal rights groups that sued feld entertainment back in 2000, alleging that circus elephants were abused. after more than a decade of litigation and tainted testimony from a former circus employee, they -- aspca decided to settle. in a statement, however, they do not admit to "any liability or wrongdoing." it's been a rocky week on wall street as stocks tumbled 2% on fiscal cliff concerns. earlier, i spoke with one independent trader who said going over the cliff may actually be helpful.
>> so essentially in my sense, it's easier to go over the cliff because then there's clarity, right? taxes will go up, spending will get cut, the market will know what is going to happen. it can only get better from there because then you'll get legislators that come to the table, that try to cut taxes and raise some spending, and they'll argue it from a positive point of view and stand up and say, rah-rah, look what we did, right? it won't get worse if we go over the cliff. if there's a band-aid, in fact, it leaves complete confusion. there is no clarity. the market will probably react to that more negatively than actually going over the cliff. and i think that's what investors have to be concerned about. he went on to say that he think there will be a last-minute deal. and some good news regarding former president george h.w. bush. despite remaining in the intensive care unit at a houston hospital this morning where he's been treated for an el vajeelev fever, we have word that he's improving. according to his spokesman, the
41st president is alert and is always in good spirits. here's a question -- what do anderson cooper, kathy griffin, and nude pictures on a couch have in common? why is it leaving our own candy crowley speeches e speechless? stick around for a bizarre and unforgettable moment from last night's "situation room."
all morning we're looking at your bev moment of 2012. this photo comes to us from i reporter beth woods. here's her story. she was told in 2008 she'd never be able to have kids without medical help. look at this little guy. so cute. her new son alex, his birth was her best moment of 2012. and every week, dr. sanjay gupta brings us incredible stories of recovery and survival from around the world. in today's "human factor," our
chief medical correspondent reports on a 71-year-old who's continued his dream of running marathons while fighting a dangerous form of cancer, one where patients are rarely cured. don wright's career spanned engineering, being a company vice president, and the law. at age 62, he discovered a new passion -- marathons. [ applause ] >> reporter: nine year ago, days after running his first 26-mile race, he got some devastating news. >> i had gone to the doctor a couple of times for pain in my back. it was multiple myeloma. >> reporter: this is a cancer of the blood where the white blood cells invade the bone marrow causing pain. usually in the back or the ribs. patients are rarely cured. but wright refused to let that slow him down. even qualifying for the boston marathon. >> got this devastating diagnosis, and we just -- my family and i, we just kept on going. you know, there wasn't any
reason to stop and be sorry, you know. we kept running marathons. >> reporter: on december 9 under a hot hawaiian sun, wright, now 71, reached his seemingly impossible goal -- running a marathon in all 50 states. >> it feels wonderful, i'll tell you. a philosophy of life that i have is live one day at a time and make it a masterpiece. and that was a masterpiece. >> reporter: wright wasn't sure he could fulfill his dream because the median survival for his cancer is just five years. prognosis does vary depending on age and stage of the disease. he's had a number of treatments that have failed. but for the last 4 1/2 years, wright's taken an experimental drug, one pill at night, that's worked. it's kept the cancer at bay. >> it doesn't cure the cancer, but it keeps it stable. so it's not hurting me. and i can still run. and i can still enjoy life, and
i'm -- i'm riding that for all it's worth. >> reporter: his advice to others facing what seemed like insurmountable odds, take charge of your own destiny and never give up hope. dr. sanjay gupta, cnn, reporting. >> be sure to watch "sanjay gupta m.d." today at 4:30 p.m. eastern and sunday at 7:30 a.m. eastern. i want to show you something. look at this construction sign in portland, oregon. having fun with that looming fiscal cliff deadline. the flashing orange lights warn of a fiscal cliff ahead and then give the gates as january and february. hey, at least somebody's having a laugh out there about this fiscal cliff business. all right. they're going to do it again. anderson cooper and comedienne kathy griffin, teaming up to usher in the new year from times square. let's say thing got weird last night on "the situation room" when the two were promoting their new year's eve special. look at this. >> somebody tells me, and i'm not sure this is true, somebody
tells me that you're obsessed with wolf blitzer. and yet every year it's me talking to you guys because i'm doing blitzer's show. i'm wondering, is that -- do you take it personally, do you think there's something to this? >> i have -- >> i think wolf is wise to stay away from kathy griffin because i once -- i don't know if you know this story, cathy -- candy. i lent -- kathy griffin one asked to come to my house in long island. and like a nice guy, i sent her a key because she wanted to go there a day in advance. and that night -- >> to clean up the place. >> no, first of all -- she arrived, she was terribly disappointed. i think she thought it would be like a house in downtown abbey. there is no chef. she arrives, and while i'm on the news that night, during commercial breaks i'm receiving tweets --not even tweets, text messages -- >> sexts. >> naked pictures. she's sending me naked picture of herself sprawled out on my couch, draped over the kitchen counter -- >> excuse me, i think candy has
done that on a daily basis. >> i had to get a wet vac and cleaning crew in there for a week. >> okay. we're going to have -- moving this conversation along -- why don't you -- >> put your shirt back on, candy. this is embarrassing. >> okay. >> i said why don't you ask anderson what i sexted him on election night. >> oh, she did. she was sending me dirty message for david gergen. >> top that, crowley. >> okay. see, and usually i can follow up really well. but this -- there's no place to go with sexting david gergen. i'm sorry. >> i'd like to -- >> the embarrassing thing is i showed david gergen the messages. that's how -- she was pressuring me. >> and we've got much more ahead in the next hour of "cnn saturday morning" which starts now. from the cnn center this is
"cnn saturday morning," saturday, december 29. good morning, i'm alison kosik in for randi kaye. a last-minute effort to steer clear of the looming fiscal cliff. it's happening now in washington. we'll tell you what the president and lawmakers are doing to avoid massive tax hikes from taking effect just three days from now. a brutal gang rape in india has now turned into a murder case. the victim has died. we'll have more on her courageous battle for survival and growing outrage over the attack. and federal investigators say they've made an arrest in connection with this week's deadly ambush of two firefighters in upstate new york. first, the intense negotiations to reach a debt deal and keep almost every american's tax bill from going up on january 1. here's a quick snapshot of what that would look like if a compromise isn't reached. the senate's top democrat and republican are holding talks this weekend after meeting with the president at the white house. we have more. >> reporter: after a rare oval office meeting with top congressional leaders, the
president said he's modestly optimistic a deal can come tother. emphasis on modestly. >> the american people are watching what we do here. obviously, their patience is already thin. this is deja vu all over again. >> reporter: all sides left in agreement, at least over the next step. >> we'll be working hard to try to see if we can get there in the next 24 hours. >> whatever we come up with is going to be imperfect. some people aren't going like it, some people will like it less. but that's where we are. >> reporter: so on saturday, the senate leaders will try to agree on legislation extending some income tax cuts, preventing pay cuts to medicare providers, and fixing alternative minimum tax. the president says an agreement must include an extension of unemployment benefits, and republicans have called for a robin avert an estate tax -- a measure to avert an estate tax hike. >> no one's going to get everything they want.
>> reporter: on sunday, senators will try to convince peers to back the plan and schedule a vote so the pressure is on harry reid to cobble together the deal. minority leader mitch mcconnell to assure that no republicans block the bill. for house speaker john boehner to agree to bring it to a vote on the house floor. and leader nancy pelosi to produce the huge number of democrats needed to pass it. if that plan falls through -- >> i will urge senator reid to bring to the floor a basic package for an up or down vote. >> so what are the chances that will happen? lisa desjardins is live on capitol hill. lisa, what is happening right now to reach a deal? who right now is involved in the negotiations? >> reporter: you know, this fiscal cliff that affects pretty much every american is now down to just a handful of people here at the capitol trying to work out a deal. at the top of the list are senators mcconnell and reid that you heard about in jessica's story. but also very important today will be their top staffers. their chiefs of staff.
our producer, ted barrett, reports that the chiefs of staff will be working with each other trying to hammer out a deal, then talking to their bosses, the senators. then we'll find out tomorrow probably how far that deal can go. what's the starting point for that deal? we know a little bit. this is coming from senate majority leader harry reid as well as other sources. we know that reid is going to start with a deal potentially for keeping taxes the same for everyone who makes under $250,000. that's families. now we also know second, as jessica mentioned, that this starting point will include an extention of unemployment benefits. what we don't know, however, is exactly what will happen with those budget cuts that are due to hit on january 1 and also the debt ceiling which we will probably hit in about two months. it looks like neither of those items, budget cuts or the debt ceiling, will be part of this particular deal at least for now. >> okay. so say a bipartisan deal, they can't come to a deal. you know, will senate majority leader harry reid, will he be
able it hold an up or down vote, or is it more likely that republicans would filibuster? >> you know, i have to say it's very hard to forecast what will happen, say, four days from now or two days from now if there's no deal. what kind of pressures will be on this congress to come up with anything. so it's not impossible that harry reid could get that up or down vote. i'll tell you, the way things stand now, if that was today, he would not get that vote. republicans would likely block that vote with a filibuster. but again, we just can't predict the future in this congress. and if there's no other deal, it's hard to say what lawmakers on either side would do when we come to january 1 or january 2. >> all right. while lawmakers are negotiating, i understand president obama is making the rounds? >> reporter: yeah. yes. his schedule actually is -- funny, he has no public events at all this weekend except for one. we know that he is planning to be on "meet the press." a very rare appearance for the president on a morning news show. but he's obviously picking his
timing carefully and very poignantly. he want to put extra pressure on congress, and he's making an appearance tomorrow on nbc's "meet the press." >> lisa desjardins in washington, thanks. we'll be watching right along with you. in india, the young woman gang raped on a new delhi bus is dead. doctors say she died peacefully at the singapore hospital where she was being treated. authorities plan to add murder charges against the six suspects arrested in the rape. we have more from new delhi. malika, what's the latest situation in delhi? when will these suspect be charged? >> reporter: they should be charged next week. that's the announcement police official made here in new delhi today. they will add the murder charges, and they expect to do that as early as next week. the public here is waiting to see whether the government and police officials actually go ahead with that because the demand here is to see some action taken very, very quickly. otherwise, i have to report there's been -- it's been a
peefl day in new delhi. security has been high throughout the capital city. i've been here at the main site of protests through the day. there have been hundreds. behind me is a candlelight vigil. throughout the day, protesters have made their voices heard. they've been loud, they've been firm. but no incident of violence. and the protests have been peaceful throughout the day. >> so protests have been peaceful. as far as the victim goes, do we know that her identity yet -- and has the government, has the government reached toout to her family? >> reporter: the government has reached out to her family. the government has been assisting her family throughout from the day the girl was hospitalized, the government has been involved. the government was very much involved in flying the girl to singapore for medical treatment. that even when she was there in singapore being treated, that indian and embassy officials were by her bedside when she passed away, in fact. as far as the identity of the girl is concerned, no, we do not
know her name. the family wants to keep it that way. they want their identity of the girl to be concealed from the public. it's something that the indian public and the indian media has given the girl a name, and they have been calling her braveheart. and that's exactly how she's being referred to in the media, braveheart. everyone hoping braveheart's death doesn't go in vain and that this incident does force the government into making some concrete changes here and ensuring the safety of india's women. >> all right. reporting from new delhi, thank you. [ gunfire ] and the deadly violence goes on in syria. today president bashar al assad's forces are claiming they attacked several rebel operations in the eastern city. meantime, russia's top diplomat and international envoy to syria met in mosquito. they're calling for a -- in moscow. they're calling for a
syrian-elderly transition and warning the conflict is becoming more medicilitarized and sectar. >> the conflict is not only more and more militarized, it is also more and more sectarian. and if we are not careful, if the syrians themselves are not careful, it will be a mainly sectarian conflict with really dire consequences for the people of syria. >> moscow has opposed efforts by the u.n. security council to oust the syrian president, a long-time ally. one of the effects as the fiscal cliff gets closer. the hardline tea party is having a harder time holding the line on an absolute pledge not to raise taxes. copd makes it hard to breathe,
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good news regarding former president george h.w. bush despite remaining in the hospital being treated for an vel straighted fever, we have -- elevated fever, we have word this he's alert and is always in good spirit. tomorrow president obama will do something he hasn't done in more than three years, appear on a sunday morning talk show. the president is giving an interview to nbc's "meet the press." the fiscal cliff and the president's plan to avoid it are expected to be the main focus of that interview. investors on wall street are nervous about the looming fiscal cliff deadline which is just three days away on. friday, stocks closed lower for a fifth day in a row ending the week down by 2%. the conservative wave that swept the tea party into power
two years ago may be headed back out. as the country teeters on the fiscal cliff, some tea partiers seem ready to compromise on taxes. here's jim acosta. >> reporter: for the tea party, change is brewing on capitol hill. florida republican alan west who rode the tea party wave in congress two years ago only to be swept out in november has already lost its office which is being prepped by painters for its new occupant. >> they say he's an outsider, a reformer. >> reporter: another tea partier, kansas congressman tim huleskamp, was booted from his seat on the budget committee he believes to john boehner wanted to send a message, to get in line for a deal on the fiscal cliff. >> we have determine thursday is some secret scorecard. a scorecard which based on testimony votes -- >> reporter: i think there's house -- >> i think there's potentially i hope not to push a tax increase through the house, and we will see what happens. >> reporter: while the speaker
denied he's bringing down the hammer, stating in a letter that "there is no scorecard," -- >> stop spending now! stop spending now! >> reporter: it's clear, tea partiers are not rallying to shut down the government anymore. some are even leaving room for compromise on raising taxes on wealthier americans. >> are all of you saying that you would not vote to raise income tax rates on the top 2%? are you all basically saying that's out of the question? >> but the problem is that i wanted to -- i wanted real cuts, real cuts. i'm not saying yes, and i'm not saying no. >> reporter: even as conservative colleagues are holding their ground. >> the simple fact is raising taxes is not going grow our economy. >> i remain the most optimistic person in this town. but we've got some serious differences. >> reporter: boehner's private negotiations with president obama over the fiscal cliff have many tea party republicans like wisconsin senator ron johnson fuming. does speaker boehner speak for you? >> i don't know what he's doing behind closed doors, truthfully.
nobody speaks for me other than myself. >> reporter: he told cnn he won't filibuster a compromise that raises some taxes. >> we have to understand reality at some point in time. republicans have no power in this negotiation. if the -- there's only one person that can prevent taxes from being increased to the american public, the president. without any action, without him being willing to sign a bill, taxes go up for every american. i don't want to see that happen. >> reporter: some conservatives who once had the power to say "my way or the highway" realize the train has already left the station. some of these tea party republicans caution their new spirit of compromise largely depends on what the president proposes. and a few of them remain convinced the president simply wants to take the country over the fiscal cliff to gain the kind of leverage they used to have. jim acosta, cnn, washington. there's a new web site finding people find a ride quickly by helping them get in touch with limo drivers on line.
the service is proving to be popular with passengers and drivers and is opening up what proponents call a booming new sector in the transportation economy. our tom foreman has this week's "american journey" report. >> reporter: for 13 years in the crush and crawl of d.c. traffic, robert harrison has made a sometimes difficult living as a limo driver. but a surge of new riders now has him for the first time heading into the holidays with real optimism about his job. >> they have saved the day for us as independent limo drivers. >> reporter: that's the impact? >> that's the impact. absolutely. >> reporter: he says he owes it to uber. a relatively new service that allows limo drivers to connect electron cleek with people nearby who need a car right now. so your smart phone known where you are. all you do is put in a request for a car, and in a matter of moments -- >> hi. i have a hit. >> reporter: that allows drivers who often have hours to kill between prearranged rides to turn the waiting time into
money-making time. uber typically gets 20% of each fare. the driver gets the rest. travis kolenek came up with the idea five years ago and spread it to more than a dozen cities here and abroad. >> if you can fill that time out for those guys, help them get business during their dead time, they can do a far better job sort of making ends meet, making a living wage. >> reporter: uber's rapid rise is not without controversy. in a number of cities, taxi operators and local officials have questioned whether uber and other similar ventures are dodging laws that control taxi rates and protect consumers. to be sure, an uber car is more expensive than a taxi, but the service is proving so popular with customers who like the comfort and convenience, some cities are already pushing aside the reservations, and harrison says that's great news. >> no uber driver will tell you that they're not making money. if they are, they're try to discourage other drivers from not coming on, right?
>> reporter: tom foreman, cnn, washington. many believe the rising number of pain management clinics, many no more than pill mills, is feeding the prescription drug problem in this country. we'll talk about ways to shut them down. try running four.ning a restaurant is hard, fortunately we've got ink. it gives us 5x the rewards on our internet, phone charges and cable, plus at office supply stores. rewards we put right back into our business. this is the only thing we've ever wanted to do and ink helps us do it. make your mark with ink from chase.
in michigan, republican governor rick snyder has signed a new abortion bill into law. the controversial measure requires any clinic that performs more than 120 abortions a year to become a licensed
freestanding surge tall outpatient facility. also is looking to take steps to ensure that pregnant women are "not being coerced into a decision." supporters say the bill which takes effect march 31 protect the health of patients. critics argue it will force clinics to shut down and restrict access for women. it's now very easy to get prescription drugs in this country. some blame so-called pillmills for that. georgia is home to many of these pain management clinics. the "wall street journal" reports the number has grown from fewer than ten just two years ago to 125 across the state today. earlier christi paul talked with georgia's attorney general about ways to shut down the pill mills. >> clearly this wasn't a problem two, three years ago when everything was occurring in florida. but as florida has in fact passed the necessary legislation, they then moved north. when georgia hopefully passes the legislation this coming year with the session starting in about two weeks, it will then
probably go north of us once again. it's a national problem. we need to license and regulate these clinics. we need to understand that they're not practicing medicine. they're illegally selling drugs and selling dangerous drugs. >> what has been your obstacle up to this point in getting that legislation passed? >> well, you know, you get ahead of the curve. everyone thought it avenues not a problem, it's florida's problem. but now it is our problem. we're having more investigations by the state drug and narcotics agency, the dea. so as people see the problem, i think we'll pass the legislation this year. it won't solve the problem nationally, but it will solve the problem in georgia. >> what did you think when you heard that figure, there were ten of these clinics in the state two years ago and 125 now. how are they becoming so prolific? >> you know, the dea puts out an annual report every february of the doctors that prescribe oxycodone, the alleged drug of choice for these pill mills. last year, georgia had 21 of the
top practices in the country. that's about 21 too many. >> yeah. >> clearly we need to get rid of these practices. we need to acknowledge there are good doctors that treat people with intractable pain, and they need to use the appropriate drugs. but we don't need drug dealers selling prescription pills in our state. and we'll deal with it this session. >> you know, you brought up a good point regarding the doctors. is there any plan or do you think there needs to be a plan to monitor doctors and the prescriptions that they're doling out? >> right. the proposed legislation licenses and regulate the clinics. it provides an opportunity for the medical board to place minimal standards. it states any time there's a new doctor, a new location, any type of crime, any type of theft they have to immediately report it to the medical board and law enforcement. so it puts in place the necessary regulations to in fact assure the public that we're doing something serious about this problem. >> what other help do you need specifically to crack down on some of these pill mills? >> you know, they're pretty easy
to find. you look for a license -- license plates from out of state in a parking lot, you look for folks coming in and out. many of these mills also are not writing prescriptions to go to the pharmacy. it's a cash business. there's nothing reassemblible e belling a medical office. we tell folks if you see a place that opens in your area that you see all the plates, for instance, are from tennessee or kentucky, give us a call. let us immediately start an investigation. we have numerous investigations pending now. both the district attorney's offices and dea are working aggressively in this area. so it's like anything else, call the police, and let's take advantage of their call and let's get these bad guys in jail. maine's same-sex marriage law went into effect at midnight. and today, steven bridges and michael snell are the first gay couple in the state to get married. a long line of people were standing right behind them as the clock struck midnight. everybody waiting to exchange vows. voters in maine, maryland, and washington state approved gay marriage in november.
they're the first states to do so by popular vote. police have now arrested a woman in new york after that christmas eve ambush on firefighters. next, we'll tell you why prosecutors say this woman was a big part of the shooting. droidn initiated. vision expanding to a 5-inch 1080p hd display and camera. touch acquiring nfc. hearing evolving with beats audio. wireless charging activated. introducing droid dna by htc. it's not an upgrade to your phone. it's an upgrade to yourself.
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police have arrested a woman in connection with the ambush on firefighters on new year's eve. two firefighters were shot and killed and two other wounded when they arrived to put out a fire at william spengler's house. police say dawn nguyen, the gunman's neighbor, illegally bought the guns used in the ambush. >> the precise charge against dawn nguyen has to do with lying during her purchase of these two weapons. according to the publicly filed complaint, dawn nguyen told the seller of these guns, gander mountain located in henry, new york, that she was to be the true owner and buyer of the guns instead of william spangler. it was absolutely against
federal law -- splerng. it was absolutely against federal law to provide false information relating to the acquisition of firearms. >> the assault rifle and shotgun were found with spengler who committed suicide. this morning, we're learning the name of the man pushed to death from a subway platform in new york on thursday. 46-year-old sunando sen was on the station platform in queens when witnesses say a woman pushed him on to the tracks. it's the second blower this month in new york city. police are looking for a woman they say is heavyset, in her 20s. she was caught by security cameras running away after the attack. despite the death, violent crime in new york city is actually down. the murder rate is on pace to be the lowest in 18 years. as of friday, the city has had 414 killings. in 2009, new york recorded the fewest, 471. that's why mayor michael bloomberg calls new york the safest big city in america. it wasn't always that way. in 1990, new york racked up more
than 2,200 homicides. the sandy hook school shooting has had an immediate affect on one city. police in bridgeport, connecticut, are determined to get guns off the streets by buying them back using $100,000 in donations from the public. here's david arioso. >> reporter: william porter says he is done with guns. the elementary school shooting in nearby newtown, connecticut, struck a nerve. >> my wife cried. we was out shopping and heard it while we was in the store. she cried. you know, it's wrong. >> how are you, sir? >> reporter: porter is turning over his handgun to police in connecticut's most populous city, the largest gun buyback ever. with well over $100,000 in private donations, police are taking the weapons no questions asked. >> i know that every gun we take in is one less gun that has the
potential to kill our children. >> reporter: more than 100 guns have been collected in the first two days and are expected to e melted down. but can buybacks like this make a dent? >> these guns could have created victims. we know that if we can reduce the number of weapons that are available through breaking into people's houses and grabbing guns, we are a safer society. >> reporter: bridgeport's police chief says an attempt to organize a similar gun buyback failed last year due to lack of funding. but not this time. >> we've seen an outpouring from the community since sandy hook in all manners from, you know, from teddy bears to cash. and i think this -- this is part of it. i think people want to feel safe. >> reporter: for porter, a gun locked safely in his home ended up in the hands of his foster child who he says then handed it over to a gang member.
>> if that person would have did something to somebody else with that gun, it would then fall back on me. i don't have -- i'm 52 years old. i haven't had a criminal record all my life. >> reporter: police say that's how even legal guns can pose a danger. >> i don't know that we're ever going to be able to disarm every bad guy here. but what we're doing is we're taking away the possibility. we're taking away the chance for a bad guy to get another gun. >> reporter: porter said he got lucky. >> it go into the wrong hands, but i got it back. it's getting destroyed now. >> reporter: and now he has a little more cash in his pocket. >> $75. >> thank you. >> reporter: but buybacks can get pricey, with shrinking city budgetdespite the renewed interest. for now, private donations are available. as the memory of newtown recedes, many wonder whether people will continue to confront issues surrounding firearms this their communities. david arioso, cnn, new york. >> okay. at least some work is getting done on capitol hill. the senate has agreed to provide
aid to victims of superstorm sandy. by a 61-33 vote, the chamber passed a measure overing over $60 billion in help. it how heads to the house which must approve the bill by thursday or the frosz consider the money -- process to consider the money must start all over again. at least 113 people were killed when superstorm sandy hit in late october. the governors of new york and new jersey have estimated damages at over $78 billion. the east coast getting ready for some more snow. new york will get a couple inches today while parts of connecticut and eastern massachusetts, they could see more snow by tonight. our bonnie schneider is monitoring the weather for us today. bonnie, how much snow is coming to the northeast? it's -- it varies depending where you are. i'll tell you, outside at this very moment, we have big, white, fluffy flakes hitting washington, d.c. let's take a look. we can take you to the white house. look at that. the snow is coming down. heavy and hard. they're working hard over there. let's take a look at the capitol, too. we've been watching for the snow
there. you know, this storm is impacting so many millions of americans. it's not the same one as the one we saw on christmas, but this one's also on the move. a fast-moving storm. but it has the potential to dump heavy snow. especially in the boston area. let's take a look. you see on the radar picture the reason we're getting the snow and the fog in d.c. and where we have an hour airport delays at this point due to fog and snow, we're seeing the cold air wrap in behind the storm system as it advances to the north and east. so the coastal areas of new jersey impacted by that water temperature from the atlantic is still a little warm. we're just getting rain on the jersey shore. in behind it, the rain changed to snow in baltimore and in washington. outside of new york city, it's cloudy right now. that snow is on the way for you. you're issued a winter weather advisory. just a couple of inches possibly, maybe up to three. three to five or more as you head further to the west. without that ocean influence. but one thing that happens in the city of boston is it depends on the track of the low to see how much snow you get. sometimes it's all rain. sometimes it's all snow.
and this particular scenario, we're looking at heavier snow for providence and for boston as the track of the low is definitely going bring about the colder air and the moisture at the same time. you can see it here in the computer model. this is saturday, tonight, even though it's not snowing now in boston, it is snowing in western massachusetts. as you plan your day in new england, be prepared for heavy snow tonight and into tomorrow morning. might be a good night to stay in by the fire. this low is going to bring substantial snow to the region. notice the cape and the islands going to see a little bit more wintry mix as you get that ocean influence. then by sunday, the low is pushed to the north. even though we've seen heavy snow recently from maine, you're go to get hit again, one-two punch with the snow hitting northeast. behind it, temperatures are colder. you see the wrap-around effect, temperatures in the 20s in the upstate area. traveling, i mentioned the delay in philadelphia. we're also anticipating delays across the country, cincinnati, atlanta, also los angeles, looking at wet weather moving into the west coast.
coast to coast we have rain, snow, we have fog, a little bit of everything for this saturday in between christmas and new year's. >> snow definitely a headache -- a headache to travel in. nice to watch. it certainly looks pretty falling in washington, d.c. thanks. >> sure. so there happens to be a line that even parents, yeah, they can cross. one woman took her parents to court, and she won. coming up, why a judge found her parents went too far.
overly protective parents can run the legal risk of being branded stalkers. just ask 21-year-old college honors student aubrey ireland. she said her parents would often travel 600 miles to visit her at school unannounced, they accused her of using drugs and being promiscuous. she sued and won. earlier, christi paul asked defense attorney joey jackson about this very bizarre case. parents need to be concerned and should be concerned. the facts here are different. so when you look at parenting, yes, we all as parents want the best for our children. but it's another thing to become obsessive. and here the line certainly was crossed according to the judge and according to the fact. when you start installing monitoring devices, okay, some
parents want to see what their children are doing. when you travel from kansas to ohio where your daughter is in school unannounced, then you go to per peers in addition to administrators and talk to administrators about my daughter needs a mental health evaluation. she's promiscuous, she's abusive, engaged in assaulted behavior. it's enough. therefore, the message here is the law applies equally to everyone. whether you're a parent, whether you're a friend, whether you're a family member, you have to behave in accordance with certain protocol. and that means what you do is you don't cross that line and you don't do things which cause threat, intimidation, and fear in your daughter. >> okay. we just want to point out that we do not have any confirmation as to the mental capabilities or incapabilities of either aubrey or her parent. we just want to point that out first of all. but how do you -- how do you prove that they're crossing a line legally, joey? >> what happens is that
generally the court has a hearing. oftentimes, as you know, they'll try to avoid a hearing as they did here by going to mediators and saying, hey, listen, you work that out. if you could establish that there's some kind of imminent danger or present danger or threatening behavior which causes you that fear, that intimidation, and you do feel unsafe as she was able to establish, a judge would say you know what, you deserve the order. remember also, we're not dealing with a criminal matter where it's beyond a reasonable doubt. so the proof is different. it's a preponderance of the evidence which is is there a probability, is it likely that you're feeling this way. is it more likely than not. certainly she was able to show that on the facts of this case. >> okay. let's listen to what aubrey said in an abc interview, specifically talking about her parents paying for college. >> they basically thought that because they were paying for my college tuition and living expenses that they could tell me what to do, who to hang out with, and basically control all of my daily life.
>> her parents have requested apparently that she pay back that $66,000 they spent on her education. could she be forced to do so? >> listen, the bottom line is that one thing does not necessarily relate to the other. when it relates to stalking and abusive behavior, that's one thing. that was certainly within the court's jurisdiction. when you're talking about prior things that were paid for your daughter and then you say because i cat control you anymore, i want to claw back and take that money, you know, it's not likely that as a result of that she should have to pay it back. furthermore, what we have to understand is that the whole issue of them paying had to do, you can argue, with control. food, family, fun, what's all that? a recipe for success if you're in the restaurant business. at least that's what martin savidge found out when he traveled to cleveland to visit one of our 100 places where the locals eat. >> reporter: i'm martin savidge, and i grew up in cleveland.
trust me, if you're looking to eat where the clevelander eat, it doesn't get any more clevelander than here. for more than half a century, sturley's country house has been a landmark in cleveland's slovenian community. >> we always have live entertainment here thursday, friday, and saturdays. >> reporter: three words -- family, fun, food. so signature dishes. >> i would say the wiener schnitzel. >> reporter: the classic, described on the menu as buttery veal hand pounded with bread crumbs and lightly fried to golden perfection. in the kitchen, you see how the magic is made. what have we got coming out of the back? >> she's got the fried schnitzel for the dinner. >> reporter: beautiful. look at that. golden brown. >> golden brown. pounded veal. breaded and deep fried. they're really good. and i always tell everybody, like i said in the kitchen, a lot of love into those to get them done right. >> the wiener schnitzel.
>> i got the schity nitzel, it' awesome, and the slovenian potatoes that the waitress recommended. highly recommended. and the stuffed cabbage, awesome. >> reporter: you don't have to be old or even from the old country to enjoy this place. >> i'm celebrating my birthday. i got my friends together, thought we'd do something different. having some fun. >> reporter: the nice thing is after you've had a good meal, you probably had the strudel, you can go out and burn it all off. >> they've been coming here since day one. >> reporter: get the dessert and get dancing. i hope you enjoyed it. if you're ever in cleveland, you know what they say -- stop on by. in the meantime, i'm going to go work off some of the food. ♪ >> reporter: martin savidge, cnn, cleveland. [ male announcer ] this december, remember
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the clock's ticking. lawmakers have just three days left to get a deal done in time to avoid the fiscal cliff. even if a deal is thrown together at the 11th hour, senate majority leader harry reid says what they come up with will be imperfect. and some people aren't going to like it. i spoke with independent new york stock exchange trader kenny polkari earlier and asked them how wall street is reacting to the looming fiscal cliff. >> we've come right to the 11th hour. the -- the fact that there's going to be a substantive deal that comes out of this in the 11th hour is probably nil to zero, right? essentially in my sense, it's easier to go over the cliff. then there's clarity, right? taxes will go up, spending will get cut. the market will know what is going to happen. it can only get better from there because then you'll get legislators that come to the table, that try to cut taxes and raise some spending, and they'll argue it from a positive point of view and stand up and say,
rah-rah, look what we, did right? it won't get any worse if we go over the cliff. if there's a bandaid, it leaves complete confusion, there is no clarity, the market will probably react more negative than actually going over the cliff. i think that's what investors have to be concerned about. now, that being said, i don't think the market's going to crash by any sense. but -- i think there's a lot of money still on the streamlines that needs to be invest -- the sidelines that need to be invested. i think people need to understand the difference between the outcomes. >> if there is a band-aid measure, you don't think the market's going to sell off on that because it's going to create more uncertainty and more confusion? >> i absolutely do think the market's going to sell off. i actually think the market's going to sell off worse on a band-aid than it would over a fiscal cliff. the band-aid leaves it completely confused. no one can plan, company can't plan. people don't know what to do. the impact is going to come on january 15 when people get their first paycheck and realize, my god, what happened, right? therefore, i think what happens is that the market has more of a
reaction with a band-aid than it does with the actual cliff. >> i know you're a betting man. what are you placing bets on, band-aid, deal, or no deal? >> i'm betting -- actually, i'm hoping that we go over the cliff at this moment because i not there's more clarity. but i'm betting that they're going to come up with this last-minute deal which they're going to present as look what we did, we extended everybody's cuts for another 60 days. all it's going to do is create more confusion. i think that's what they're going to come one and try and make themselves look like they've done the right thing when in fact i think it's going to hurt the market more. >> yikes. all right. i look forward to that when i sit at the new york stock exchange this week if that happens. in a letter back in october 16, ceos pressed leaders to reach a bipartisan deal to avoid massive tax hikes and across-the-board spending cuts that could lead to a recession. so, you know, what happens, let's say, if they actually do get a deal, though?
are we going to see the market really rally? and what will be the focus for wall street after that? >> well, listen, if we get a deal and we get a deal that's really substantive and that's realistic and that the market believes, i think absolutely the market will rally back and certainly to the 1425, 1440 level. i don't think now you've got a chance of them going back to 1475 unless of course they full complete rabbit out of the hat and said, look, all along, we had this deal, we were just keeping it secret. i don't think that's going to happen. but the market will rally. you can feel it. that's why every time one of them comes back and is optimistic, the market takes back because it wants a settlement and resolution. but it's not getting it and the market will vote with it feet, which is what you saw happen this past week. >> with so many moving parts with the fiscal cliff, i novell vel is ho -- ali velshi is hosting a special. what do you have at the top of the hour? >> of course fiscal cliff, look
at the details, look at the impact your guest was talking about, january 15th when many americans will feel it. that's true. up to this point it's been a mental exercise. we'll look at what the real impact could be. russia is saying it will no longer adopt children from the united states. what's going on there? we ook at that issue. are children being used as political pawns, tit for tat for something the u.s. did? and the movies of 2013. did you go during the holidays? oh, gosh. >> there are some big ones coming out. you know 2013 is going to be a big year, much anticipated. many sequels coming. we'll look ahead to what you will see at the box office in '13. >> i like going early to the movies so i can see the trailers. i'll see that. >> there won't be too many of them but you do get an appetite for what's to come. >> i look forward to it. i'll be watching. >> nice to see you. >> same here. thank you. a hard-fought presidential campaign was the highlight of
the political season in 2012. we'll look back at that.
it's been a big year for political junkies. presidential elections and all the serious and fun moments on
the campaign trail. so what are the top political events of 2012? jim acosta counts them down. >> make room. make room. >> reporter: the year started off with a surprise in a sweater vest. counting down the top campaign stories of the year at number ten, the primaries. rick santorum's stunning performance in the iowa caucuses. >> game on. >> reporter: kicked off a battle for the republican nomination that few in washington had expected. the gop's odds-on favorite, mom, stumbled in some of the early contests. >> i like being able to fire people who provide services to me. >> reporter: he refused to release his tax returns, allowing newt gingrich to take south carolina. >> we proved here in south carolina we beat big money. >> reporter: but that big money eventually cleared the field and romney set his sights on the president. >> it's still about the economy. and we're not stupid.
>> reporter: at number nine, bang. >> your punishment must be more severe. >> reporter: not that one, that one. almost as soon as mitt romney locked up the nomination, bane capital was savaged by democratic superpacs and the obama campaign. >> like a vampire. sucking the life out of us. >> reporter: the attack ads put romney on defense for months. >> there's nothing wrong with being associated with bane capital for months. >> reporter: the president also got a lift from the supreme court which at number eight upheld his embattled health care law, so romney vowed to strike it down himself. >> i'm that one that's going to get rid of obama care. >> reporter: number seven, gas. >> governor romney, do you feel your gaffes have overshadowed your trip? >> reporter: his missteps often dominated the news cycle. >> the private sector is doing fine. >> reporter: or in romney's campaign, his entire foreign trip.
ub at six, the conventions were remembered less for the nominees and their running mamts and more for -- >> what do you want me to tell romney? i can't tell him to do that to himself. >> reporter: the warm-up act that stole the show. >> we believe that we're all in this together is a far better philosophy than you're on your own. >> reporter: at number five, is september 11th attack in benghazi injected foreign policy into the race. >> justice will be done. >> reporter: but a week later the campaign shifted again to that hidden-camera video of romney's comments on the 47%, an instant obama attack ad, and number four among the year's biggest moments. >> there are 47% who are with him, who depend on them. >> reporter: the gop contender needed a breakout moment and got one at number three. >> i love big bird. actually like you, too. >> reporter: the debates -- and
president obama's lackluster performance in the fist face-off put romney back in the hunt. the president would have to redeem himself and polls show he did. >> i said if i got bin laden in our sights i would take that shot. >> reporter: but at number two came the mother of october surprises -- sandy. the devastating superstorm put much of the nation's focus on the president's handling of the crisis and the high marks he received from a top romney surrogate, new jersey governor chris christie. >> i cannot thank the president enough for his personal concern and compassion for our state. >> reporter: polls showed the race moving to the president, who won handily. >> this election is over. let our principles endure. >> reporter: the sizable margin of victory blind-sided the romney campaign. >> the task of perfecting our union moves forward.